Raptors’ No. 13 pick: Bobi Klintman is oozing with potential
While the Raptors are lacking guard depth and perimeter shotmaking, they could take a chance on a player whose tools are to appealing to pass up. Enter Bobi Klintman. Listen to the full episode on players the Raptors will consider with their first-round lottery pick on the ‘Raptors Over Everything’ podcast feed.
IMMAN ADAN: About my last question is, we're going to be talking about guards so much, but Masai Ujiri is just going to do what he always does and pick a guy whose 6' 9" with a 10-foot wingspan. He's going to pick Giannis-light. He's going to pick someone who resembles at the most. Is there that guy in this draft?
STEPHEN GILLASPIE: I think there's a few. The one that I'm excited about is a player that I actually had a chance to interview very early on in the season. And it's funny you mention just like there's not a Giannis Antetokounmpo in this draft. Bobi Klintman out of Wake Forrest.
Now for people who were listening to the name and are going straight to college basketball reference, you're going to be a little disappointed at the numbers at face value, right. He's from Malmo, Sweden. In the U21 tournament, he was putting up like, 20, 10, and 5 against players around his age. He transferred, or excuse me, he moved from Sweden to go play at Sunrise Christian with Grady Dick and Mark Mitchell. And then, from there, he moved to North Carolina.
Now the reason he didn't stay international is that he wanted to learn the American style of game because he figured that's how he's going to make the most amount of money. It worked out pretty well for him in high school, and in college, in the second half of the season, he actually started playing really well. He's about 6' 10", shot really well from 3, like, about 37% I want to say off the top of my head. I don't have the numbers in front of me. But shot very well, shows great feel for the game, has a good positional handle, and his nickname is the Swede Freak because he is, like, idolizing Giannis and kind of models his game.
In the interview I had with him, he was like, people actually come up to me and be like, are you Giannis? Because they actually kind of look very similar in features. So he is kind of a name that is rising to the forefront in draft circles right now. I think I just saw something like Kevin O'Connor from "The Ringer", I think, put him at 15th or something like that.
So he is rising.
IMMAN ADAN: Which is Giannis's pick. That was where Giannis was drafted at. There we go.
STEPHEN GILLASPIE: Exactly, right. So many stark comparisons between them. Again, I'm not saying he's going to be Giannis, but he is probably going to be the late season riser, and at 6' 10", can play the 3 and the 4, maybe the 5 when he beefs up. And here's the thing, like, kind of contextualizing the numbers a little bit.
IMMAN ADAN: Yep.
STEPHEN GILLASPIE: He grew to, like, 6' 10", 6' 11", and to 220 pounds within two years. So he's, like, he's still learning how to play basketball with the spring, yet, still being--
IMMAN ADAN: That's like an Anthony Davis level growth spurt, right? Like a guard who just became a seven-footer overnight.
STEPHEN GILLASPIE: Yeah, so, yeah, well, not as drastic, right? Like 6' 8" I want to say, but still, like, a good growth spurt, still learning the frame, and he shows great feel for the game. Like, those type of players are pretty enticing, and NBA front offices liked him enough to invite him in the combine. Which means that he had to meet a certain metric of NBA front office to say, yes, let's get this guy in front of me. So teams love him, and he's going to be a late riser.
IMMAN ADAN: All right.